Conference Paper

Environmental Assessment of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Sri Lanka and India in a Life Cycle Perspective

Conference: Klimaschutzkongress M-V, “17. Symposium Nutzung Regenerativer Energiequellen und Wasserstofftechnik

ABSTRACT At present, many Asian developing countries are practicing poor Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management methods such as open dumping and non-engineered landfilling. This creates severe burdens on the environment and threat to human health. The quantification of the environmental impacts resulting from such poor MSW management practices is necessary to serve as a baseline against which alternative treatment technology options can be assessed for implementation of more environmentally sustainable MSW management systems that are adapted to local situation. In this study, existing MSW management systems in Sri Lanka and India were evaluated in order to assess the severity of their environmental impacts with focus on global warming potential and abiotic resource depletion. Life Cycle Assessment methodology was followed to perform this investigation. Results from this study reveal that the existing MSW management methods used in both countries cause severe environmental damages. However, the situation in India is slightly better as compared to Sri Lanka since 24% of its MSW is being composted. The implementation of landfill with landfill gas recovery for energy was identified as an important initial step to overcome the existing environmental impacts assessed. The results obtained revealed that implementation of such systems would help substantially to reduce global warming potential and abiotic resources depletion.

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May 16, 2014